New Zealand PM Jacinda Ardern deems Tooth Fairy, Easter Bunny ‘essential workers’ during COVID-19

Children of New Zealand need not worry — they’ll still be getting their Easter chocolates and visits from the Tooth Fairy amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The country’s Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern made sure to put young people’s fears at bay, assuring them that the Easter Bunny and Tooth Fairy are both “essential workers” during the outbreak.

“You will be pleased to know that we do consider both the Tooth Fairy and the Easter Bunny to be essential workers,” Ardern said during a press conference on Monday, adding that it may be “difficult for the bunny to get everywhere,” given the current global circumstances.

“So I say to the children of New Zealand, if the Easter Bunny doesn’t make it to your household, we have to understand that it’s a bit difficult at the moment for the bunny to perhaps be everywhere,” she continued.

Ardern also encouraged neighbourhoods to put eggs in their window as an activity for children on their own Easter egg hunts.

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Quebec’s Premier Francois Legault followed in Ardern’s footsteps, declaring the Tooth Fairy an essential service and “immune to the coronavirus,” during a COVID-19 news conference in on Tuesday, per the Montreal Gazette.

The sweet address follows Ardern’s announcement of a four-week nationwide lockdown on March 25, per The Washington Post. All residents were asked to stay home unless they perform “essential work,” like picking up food and medicine, or working in health care.

She called the lockdown “the most significant restrictions on New Zealanders’ movements in modern history.”

So far, New Zealand has only seen one death from COVID-19, and 1,160 confirmed cases.

Questions about COVID-19? Here are some things you need to know:

Health officials caution against all international travel. Returning travellers are legally obligated to self-isolate for 14 days, beginning March 26, in case they develop symptoms and to prevent spreading the virus to others. Some provinces and territories have also implemented additional recommendations or enforcement measures to ensure those returning to the area self-isolate.

Symptoms can include fever, cough and difficulty breathing — very similar to a cold or flu. Some people can develop a more severe illness. People most at risk of this include older adults and people with severe chronic medical conditions like heart, lung or kidney disease. If you develop symptoms, contact public health authorities.

To prevent the virus from spreading, experts recommend frequent handwashing and coughing into your sleeve. They also recommend minimizing contact with others, staying home as much as possible and maintaining a distance of two metres from other people if you go out.

For full COVID-19 coverage from Global News, click here.

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